I really wish there was a book trailer for Rat Runners by Oisin McGann because it is hard to get a real sense of what the book is about from either the title or the cover. Street smart kids outwit the mob bosses who coerce them into committing crimes in a 1984esque future. But that falls flat, too. It is tense and smart and full of high tech spy gadgets. You should read it. That is really the best I can do, boys and girls. For those of you not in the womb during the mid nineties, it reminded me of Hackers. Do you remember that? It had young, young Angelina Jolie and Johnny Lee Miller and it was about teen hackers outsmarting the adults. I felt so subversive just watching it!
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. In the future world, the only people who can escape the intense scrutiny of the government surveillance system are young teens. Mob bosses use these rat runners to carry out jobs through coercion and fear. When one group of runners discovers an invention that could change everything, they decide to use their street smarts and tech skills to keep it out of the hands of their boss, but the boss has more than just a few kids on his side, and he is willing to kill to get what he wants. While I initially struggled with this book, it became much more engaging once all of the players were introduced. The teens in this book were smart and resourceful, and, despite their association with illegal activities, they had a sense of right and justice. I think YA readers of both genders will enjoy this book. While the overall plot is not like Alex Rider, the Bourne books, or Mission Impossible, the secret and covert missions carried out are just as tense and the bad guys are just as threatening. Readers who enjoy books along that line and are willing to stick through the introductory chapters will be glad they did. The language and situations are appropriate for grades 7+.
Don’t believe me and my “old lady” (read: mid thirties) opinions? See what a real YA had to say. http://www.teenreads.com/reviews/rat-runners